Good Friday Sample Intercessions for the COVID-19 Pandemic

On Good Friday, the Liturgy of the Word of the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord concludes with the Solemn Intercessions, an ancient part of this liturgy in the Roman Rite. Over a series of ten petitions – each made up of an introduction, an invitation to silent prayer (sometimes accompanied by kneeling), and a concluding prayer – the People of God pray for the Church and its leaders and ministers, catechumens entering the Church, Christian unity, the Jewish people, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ and/or God, public officials, and people in any tribulation.

In addition to these petitions, "[i]n a situation of grave public need, the Diocesan Bishop may permit or order the addition of a special intention" (Roman Missal, Friday of the Passion of the Lord, no. 13). The scourge of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents such a grave public need. To that end, the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship prepared a sample text for bishops to use or adapt, and the Holy See's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments subsequently offered its own sample petition.

Nevertheless, the decision of whether to insert a special intention and the composition of its text remains the purview of the Diocesan Bishop. During liturgies on Good Friday, April 2, 2021, members of the faithful throughout the United States may hear, in varying words, an extra petition in the Solemn Intercessions asking Almighty God to be with his people during the time of pandemic, to give comfort to patients and caregivers, and eternal rest to the deceased.

Even outside of Good Friday, the proposed sample texts below could be used or adapted for private or family prayer. Many dioceses have also issued one or more special prayers during the pandemic.

Sample Intercessions for the COVID-19 Pandemic

From the Holy See

IX b. For the afflicted in time of pandemic

Let us pray also for all those who suffer the consequences of the current pandemic,
that God the Father may grant health to the sick,
strength to those who care for them, comfort to families
and salvation to all the victims who have died.

Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:

Almighty ever-living God,
only support of our human weakness,
look with compassion upon the sorrowful condition of your children
who suffer because of this pandimc;
relieve the pain of the sick,
give strength to those who care for them,
welcome into your peace those who have died
and, throughout this time of tribuation,
grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

From the USCCB

If the Diocesan Bishop ordered the use of the exact text as proposed by the USCCB for the Good Friday liturgy, a musical setting is available for clergy. For devotional use outside of Good Friday, it may also be useful in private or family prayer during the pandemic.

Text with music

XI. For an end to the pandemic

Let us pray, dearly beloved, for a swift end
to the coronavirus pandemic that afflicts our world,
that our God and Father will heal the sick,
strengthen those who care for them,
and help us all to persevere in faith.

Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:

Almighty and merciful God,
source of all life, health and healing,
look with compassion on our world, brought low by disease;
protect us in the midst of the grave challenges that assail us
and in your fatherly providence
grant recovery to the stricken,
strength to those who care for them,
and success to those working to eradicate this scourge.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.